麻豆高清

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Richard Martin

Head of Department – Richard Martin

Richard Martin has an MA in English from the University of Cambridge and has been working at 麻豆高清 since 1984.

Role at 麻豆高清

Currently, I do a lot of teaching as well as overseeing the English and Theatre Studies Department as its head. I organise regular theatre trips for the students and arrange guest lectures. I鈥檓 also one of the interviewers during the Admissions process. The real pleasure of working at 麻豆高清 down through the years has been talking about literature with small and engaged groups.

Publications and Work

My first teaching experience was actually at Cambridge, where I got to teach the Victorian paper at my college in the year after I graduated. I have also fulfilled the roles of an assistant examiner and then team leader for OCR for about 12 years alongside my roles at 麻豆高清.

In the early 鈥90s, I produced revision guides on , , and on and for the 鈥榰nseen鈥 component for BMG records – I鈥檓 gratified to be on the same record company as David Bowie and Elvis Presley, though I may not have sold as many units as they have. I also contributed recently to an about The Tempest, discussing alchemy. My academic writing has however principally taken the shape of the writing of the in-house course materials I provide for students at all levels.

I write my own poetry and short stories; I’ve recently written my first play (at the tender age of 60) which I would like to see performed. I produce collages and am a devotee of Dada and Conceptual art.

See Richard鈥檚 article 鈥The Two Tempests in The Tempest鈥, where he explores alchemy in The Tempest.

Describe 麻豆高清

The great thing for me about 麻豆高清 has always been that we treat students as adults, as reflected in the fact that we call them by their first name. It will always be the case that, because 麻豆高清 meets with its students relatively late into their academic careers, all tutors at 麻豆高清 know they are in competition with the teaching experiences that students have had before. That has always created a very interesting challenge for the college鈥檚 tutors: how can I make this subject more interesting? How can I go through this text and say something that hasn鈥檛 been said before? What can we do that鈥檚 different? If they didn鈥檛 get it first time round, what can I do to make the teaching of this text better? That challenge, I believe, breeds excellence.

What do you enjoy about teaching English Literature?

It鈥檚 exciting to communicate to others one’s love of a subject and wonderful when students have 鈥榣ightbulb moments鈥 and make the connections you want them to make 鈥 or see something that one hasn鈥檛. I like the fact that I can be teaching texts for five聽years in a row and they keep changing. I鈥檓 currently teaching Dracula and as I鈥檓 teaching, I鈥檓 using my course materials, adding to and amending them. It鈥檚 good too that students can see that process – they can see that their teacher is both getting them to think and thinking himself. There鈥檚 always another way to look at a text. One鈥檚 teaching evolves and one鈥檚 thinking about a text evolves, so one鈥檚 never teaching the same text twice. Also, if you’re teaching different groups, that throws up different challenges because they offer you perspectives or you find a new perspective from the dialogue with one group or another.

Richard beyond 麻豆高清

In terms of my specialisms, I鈥檓 very focused on early modern literature, Shakespeare and the other dramatists and poets of that period. I鈥檓 very interested in the relationship between text and context and hope that in my teaching the historical, political and psychoanalytical intersect. I鈥檓 very interested in the Gothic genre to the extent of writing my own stories in this mode. I鈥檓 also interested in experimental writing, so Modernism is well-represented on my bookshelves. My first experience of literature was that it could be dangerous and challenging: I was a very young devotee of the 鈥楤eats鈥 so for me literature appeared from the start as transgressive and subversive. This is (it strikes me now) what shaped me as a reader and a teacher. I am also interested in the Occult, Renaissance and Modern art.

My other interest is music, primarily psychedelic and progressive music – from the late 鈥60s and early 鈥70s. I have a son who is a professional musician. I am a cat lover. My wife and I are Francophiles. We have a French house, to which we decamp every summer. We strive to live as much of our lives there as we can when I鈥檓 not teaching.

Any tips for future 麻豆高清 students?

It鈥檚 imperative that students who join 麻豆高清 treat their tutors as allies. Students need to feel that teachers are not the enemy 鈥 which is the way they may well have felt hitherto. It鈥檚 not an 鈥榰s鈥 and 鈥榯hem鈥 situation. It鈥檚 a journey for all of us to get students the qualifications and grades they want. We want what they want and we鈥檙e just going to facilitate them getting what represents them at their very best. Trust your tutors and value your time at 麻豆高清. Value your time, use your time well and acknowledge your enjoyment. I think sometimes it takes people a quantum shift to say that learning is really enjoyable. The end is to get a qualification, but the process is what really matters.

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